We always hear of precious metals. They are precious because they are rare metallic element of high economic value. Chemically, precious metals are less reactive than most elements. They have higher luster and have higher melting points compared to other metals. Throughout time precious metals were significant as currency, but are now regarded mainly as an investment and industrial commodity.
Gold, silver, platinum and palladium holds an ISO 4217 currency code. The best and most popular precious metal are silver and gold. While both can be use industrially, they are also popular in their uses in art, jewelry and coinage. Other precious metal use for trade is platinum, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium and iridium.
Precious metals in bulk form is termed as bullion and are usually traded in commodity markets. Bullion metals may be casted into ingots or minted as coins.
Investing in precious metals can be done either by purchasing the physical asset or by purchasing futures contracts for the particular metal. Another way to invest in precious metals is to purchase shares in publicly traded companies that deal in the exploration or production of precious metals such as a gold mining company.